Dao De Jing
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Verse Sixty Seven : The Three Treasures


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009

Verse Sixty Seven
Bradford Hatcher, 2005

Everyone in the world admits our way is great
(And) resembles no likeness
It is insofar as it is great
That it resembles no likeness
Had it a likeness
Surely after so long
It might have diminished a little
Here I have three treasures
Take and keep them safe:
The first, call compassion
The second, call economy
The third, call never presuming to act as the world€s leader
Compassion confers a capacity for courage
Economy confers a capacity for breadth
Never presuming to act as the world€s leader
confers a capacity to develop enduring talents
To right away set aside compassion
in order to be more courageous
To set aside economy in order to be more expansive
To set aside following in order to be more advanced
Is truly deadly
Now compassion used in combat means triumph
Used in defense means security
Those whom heaven would redeem
With compassion it protects them

Verse Sixty Seven
Witter Bynner, 1944

Everyone says that my way of life is the way of a simpleton.
Being largely the way of a simpleton is what makes it worth while.
If it were not the way of a simpleton
It would long ago have been worthless,
These possessions of a simpleton being the three I
choose
And cherish:
To care,
To be fair,
To be humble.
When a man cares he is unafraid
When he is fair he leaves enough for others,
When he is humble he can grow;
Whereas if, like men of today, he be bold without caring,
Self-indulgent without sharing,
Self-important without shame,
He is dead.
The invincible shield
Of caring
Is a weapon from the sky
Against being dead.

Verse Sixty Seven
Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare.
Because it is great, it seems different.
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago.
I have three treasures which I hold and keep.
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity;
From humility comes leadership.

Nowadays men shun mercy, but try to be brave;
They abandon economy, but try to be generous;
They do not believe in humility, but always try to be first.
This is certain death.

Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.
It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.


From: simon
Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009

This is a beautiful verse
and the three versions each highlight an angle.
Jim, may I trouble you for the original characters & their significance?

The
Quote:
way of a simpleton.
Being largely the way of a simpleton is what makes it worth while

is not an unfair way to describe headlessness -
and turning the attention it is clear that there is not a 'thing' where others see my head, and so:
Quote:
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago

smacks of the capacity that contains without being contaminated (ugly choice of words!)
The 3 Treasures arise naturally with seeing and are weightless ...
Quote:
These possessions of a simpleton being the three I choose
And cherish:
To care,
To be fair,
To be humble.

The choose and cherish I find lovely; out of everything, these three do not represent a "choice" as for desire... as they do not 'belong' to a 'me', nor are they for personal profit...
just for life


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009

Hi Simon,

You can download a great pdf file that has the Chinese and a variety of possible English words for each character for the whole Tao Te Ching..

http://www.hermetica.info/

Jim


From: simon
Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009

Thank you, Jim, an interesting site.
I'll check it out fully once lambing is over!


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009

Hi Simon,

I like "the way of a simpleton" too. Ursula Le Guin says instead: "Everybody says my way is great but improbable." She follows with "All greatness is improbable. What's probable is tedious and petty." That seems to apply to headlessness too, doesn't it? Improbable for sure. Who would have thought it! Well, nobody until Douglas.

The Taoist rule of reversal or law of opposites comes up in this verse with the three treasures. The first treasure is compassion (love) which allows one to be brave. Brave in this context could mean the courage to go by what you see rather than by what you are told, to go by the improbable. Frugality is a good one. It's knowing what is enough, being contented (content-ed) with what is enough. And with headless seeing, we have everything and nothing. We have it all, and with that we can afford to be generous. We aren't looking for more. We have found totality. The third treasure is humility, staying behind or keeping low. When we are content to stay behind, we trust and defer to others. We apply no coersion, so other people trust us to lead. They trust our opinions because they know we aren't trying to coerce.

Some call this paradox, but that word implies a contradiction, and this rule of reversal is perfectly natural. The Tao De Ching is describing The Way of Life, the way it is. The two sides of the Tube don't contradict one another. They blend and harmonize and form a whole.

Jim


From: simon
Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009

Hi Jim and All
Very yes to your post. Bravery is a good word, even if I prefer daring
There is a line that seems very relevant to Seeing (well, more than one, but...)
Quote:
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.

Daring not to be ahead of others...
Well, doesn't it take a sort of courage to look for one's self, not to rush ahead, not to pretend to have all the answers to other peoples problems?
There is a daring to this, a form of 'audace', to leave the herd and be the first person, and singular to boot!
And once dared, where am I but home?
You put it well: the bravery comes from compassion.
It is 'missing the mark' to consider them opposites
This really is a wonderful verse - the essence of the whole book to me...
Ah, Douglas, who did away with preaching just by pointing!
The "invention" of experiments seems to me to be a watershed in the whole realm of spirit-emotion-identity.
I don't see how humanity can ever be the same after this.


From: headexchange
Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009

There's a book I like called The Tao of Leadership, by John Heider. It's the principles of the Tao applied to running groups, to leadership. Humility - leading by following. Or, in other words, being space for the group, becoming the group, trusting the group.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009

"leave the herd and be the first person"

Great way to put it.

Jim


From: Lee
Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009

Hello Jim,

Just found this site a couple of weeks ago.

The Tao Te Ching twenty years ago. Your version about 10 days ago.

Love your version from your web site. I try to read about 5 chapters a week using different versions for each chapter, and your version is a very welcome addition. In fact I save it for last. It really brings it all down to a personal level.

Thanks again.

Lee


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009

Hi Lee,

Somehow I overlooked your message. I'm glad you are enjoying my version of the Tao Te Ching.

I've been revising it lately. You can see the most recent version at http://daodejingle.net

It's only partially revised. It needs a lot more work.

Jim


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